Stage 1 Punctuation

Punctuation helps a reader to navigate and make sense of what is written. It is vital in the development of reading comprehension and provides the link between spoken-like language and the more formal written language.

Strategy

Identifies the correct sentence punctuation

Explicitly teaching the metalanguage of sentences assists students to look for, be aware of and use punctuation in sentences and consistently create sentences that make sense. Provide opportunities for students to discuss text features, beginning at the sentence level.

Activities to support the strategy

Activity 1: pre–assessment

To determine students' current understanding of grammar, punctuation and technical language, use a quiz (example below).

Punctuation True or false?
1. You write a comma when you take a breath. T/F
2. You write a capital letter at the beginning of a line. T/F
3. You write a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence. T/F
4. You write a full stop after a thought. T/F
5. You write a full stop at the end of the line. T/F
6. You write a full stop at the end of a sentence. T/F
7. You write a full stop after an independent clause. T/F
8. You write an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence to show strong feelings or emphasis. T/F
9. You write a question mark at the end of a sentence that asks a question. T/F
10. You write quotation marks when there is dialogue or conversation. T/F
11. You write proper nouns, such as "Sydney" and “July”, with capital letters. T/F
Punctuation True or false?
1. You write a comma when you take a breath. T/F
2. You write a capital letter at the beginning of a line. T/F
3. You write a full stop after a thought. T/F
4. You write a full stop at the end of the line. T/F
5. A full stop should be written after an independent clause. T/F
6. "Sydney" and other important words should always be capitalised. T/F

Activity 2: Modelled sentences from quality texts

Select a sentence from a quality text that is being read in class. Read the sentence together and discuss it, analysing the structure and punctuation. Discuss what makes the sentence effective (or not). Important elements to discuss may include nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, as well as whether the sentence is simple, compound or complex, and the different punctuation marks used.

Students write this sentence on their individual whiteboard or in their work book then write similar sentences in the same style to ensure they have understood the grammatical structure.

Variation: Select different types of sentences based on student ability and learning needs, for example, demonstrate a simple sentence before a compound or complex sentence. Read the sentences together and discuss, analysing structure.

References

Australian curriculum

ACELA1449: Recognise that different types of punctuation, including full stops, question marks and exclamation marks, signal sentences that make statements, ask questions, express emotion or give commands.

NSW syllabus

EN1-CWT-01: plans, creates and revises texts written for different purposes, including paragraphs, using knowledge of vocabulary, text features and sentence structure

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